The all-electric Nissan LEAF continued its role as Europe’s leading EV in terms of sales in 2013, selling 204% more than it did in 2012 and 25% more than the nearest EV competitor, according to Nissan.
The press release from Nissan credited forward-thinking EV infrastructure investment in some European countries with helping grow EV market share on the Continent. Where governments aren’t afraid of investing in charging infrastructure, consumers can more readily make the decision that an EV works for them, apparently. No Chicken or Egg Scenario like that faced here in the States, where the best we can hope for is usually a limited government role in a public-private partnership installingchargers in scattershot fashion. Of course, Europe’s higher population densities probably don’t hurt charging infrastructure planning efforts, either, but I digress. Quoth the press release:
The success of the Nissan LEAF in Europe has been propelled by consistently strong sales in Norway where the Nissan LEAF the third-most sold passenger car last year, became the country’s best-selling car at the end of January 2014 with 650 units.
Norway’s advanced EV infrastructure and government incentives continue to spur strong sales of electric vehicles in the county. Sales of the Nissan LEAF in Norway were up 145 percent in January compared to January 2013. The rest of Europe isn’t far behind. In 2013, the Nissan LEAF was the EV market leader in many other countries including Spain, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, and the United Kingdom.
Huge strides are being made in the UK with sales of the British-built Nissan LEAF increasing by more than 1000 percent in January versus the prior year. The UK recently saw the installation of the 195th CHAdeMO rapid charger at the Clackett Lane Services on the M25. These chargers can “refuel” a Nissan LEAF from 0-80 percent battery in just 30 minutes at zero cost to the driver. The UK charger was the 1000th CHAdeMO rapid charger in Europe, almost double the number installed by January 2013
Nissan Europe Director of Electric Vehicles Jean-Pierre Diernaz said, “January has been a fantastic start to 2014, a year when we will launch our second 100 percent electric model in Europe – the Nissan e-NV200 light commercial vehicle. Our most recent survey following the launch of the improved European-built Nissan LEAF shows that 97 percent of owners would recommend a Nissan LEAF to a friend, and we believe this, combined with a rapidly expanding charging infrastructure, will bring further growth in 2014. We are moving from the early adopters to the early majority.”